How to Choose A Suit for an Evening Wedding
Evening weddings are increasingly popular these days, and when you consider the fact that they cause far less damage to your bank account than an all-day affair, it’s easy to see why.
But when it comes to the groom’s attire, is it just a simple matter of hitting the rental shop and choosing a tuxedo that fits? Or are there other factors you should consider when picking out that dinner jacket?
The evening wedding of course.
When you think about it, an evening wedding makes perfect financial sense as you and your guests will spend far less time at the venue, drink less alcohol, eat less food, and require less entertainment. It’s a win-win situation for all involved. You spend less on the arrangements, and your guests spend less at the bar.
However, once you’ve got your accountant hat on, there’s a temptation to start cutting costs left, right, and centre with the groom’s tuxedo all too often an easy target for saving a few dollars. But, no matter how tempting it may be, you should never cut costs when your appearance is at stake.
The bottom line is, whether you choose to rent or purchase, invest in your look.
Formal VS. Semi-Formal VS. Informal
There is a common misconception that all evening weddings are full-blown formal affairs with dinner jackets as far as the eye can see. While this is often the most popular choice, it’s still one of three options.
There are no actual rules as to how formal an evening wedding should be, so sit down with your partner and make a firm decision on how you want it to play out. Do you want to see all your friends in bow ties or is a less formal event more to your liking?
Once you have decided, though, it’s important that you stick to the rules that you both have agreed on.
Often labeled the ultra-formal wedding suit, a white-tie tuxedo is the epitome of formality. You quite literally cannot get any more formal than this. So if you take this route, then make sure your reception is suitably dignified and that you inform your guests of the dress requirements.
Traditionally white-tie weddings are those with ceremonies that take place in prestigious places of worship such as cathedrals, followed by receptions in stately country manors or exclusive clubs. And a wedding planner will tell you that unless you have engraved invitations for 200 guests or over, then white-tie is off the cards.
If you are good to go with formal suit, then a black tailcoat and trousers are essential as is a white waistcoat. Your shirt should be a wing collar and, last but not least, your bowtie should be white. White gloves and black patent leather shoes complete the look.
The opportunities to wear tailcoats are few and far between so in this instance we suggest that you visit a dress hire shop rather than purchasing your outfit.
Black-tie is the most common choice when it comes to evening weddings partly due to it being the classic formal style and also because it’s often the easiest option. A black tuxedo with a white pleated shirt, black waistcoat, and a black bowtie is the go-to look for many a groom, but there’s no harm in having a little fun with it.
We quite like the white dinner jacket that lends you a certain 007 flair that sets you apart from the rest of your entourage. This look is ideal for summer weddings.
You can bring your own stylings to the table by adding colour to your cummerbund or even the waistcoat. But to truly embrace an individual look, you can choose a navy formal suit and wear it with a pleated shirt and bowtie.
For a black-tie wedding, we strongly advise buying a formal suit or having one custom tailored. Once there are no satin stripes on the trousers you can wear the suit again ensuring that you’re getting the most from your investment.
Now we call it informal but all this means is that your guests aren’t bound to the rules of evening wear. For this type of wedding, you can wear any suit you choose or go right ahead stick yourself in a tuxedo. Since we already discussed black-tie, let’s assume that you’re going for a regular suit.
Choose a colour that you are comfortable in for your suit. A black business formal suit is fine but so too is a navy suit or even a light shade of grey à la Daniel Craig.
As this is an evening wedding, we recommend a white shirt and simple block colour tie with a crisp white pocket square in a presidential fold to complete the look.
Of course with it being informal, you will encounter guests with similar looks. To offset this, have your wedding suit custom tailored, so it fits like a.. well, like a tailored suit! Chances are your guests’ suits will be off the rack efforts and hopefully not a patch on yours.
So if you’re planning evening nuptials or in fact nuptials at any time of the day, you should give yourself a good six months to prepare your formal suit. Between choosing colours, getting measured, and final alterations, you won’t notice the time fly by.
And if you’re opting for a custom tailored suit – highly recommended, of course – then we’re very happy to offer our services here at Plmenswear. We can even throw a few ideas your way if you haven’t yet decided on your evening wedding look.